Blockchain gets bundled with cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens as examples of the dark edges of the digital world, but the decentralized, ledger-based technology plays an increasingly critical role in reducing risk, enhancing efficiency, and maintaining transparency across supply chains.
Last fall, we wrote about some of our startups innovating in the blockchain space. No sooner did we hit ‘publish’ than we met even more startups – attracted by the offer of free cloud, global technical support, and access to Oracle Blockchain Platform Service.
There is a strong market for what these startups create. A few years ago, a Trend Insight Report from analyst firm Gartner suggested that by 2026, the business value added by blockchain will grow to just over $360 billion, then by 2030, grow to more than $3.1 trillion.
“Blockchain is a disruptive technology in the enterprise and public sector,’’ explains Mark Rakhmilevich, Senior Director of Oracle Blockchain Product Management.
“It provides greater efficiencies and reduces risk in B2B interactions. It can strengthen compliance and transform the old ways of exchanging data within any ecosystem process that spans multiple organizations. It can enable new ways of doing business – more transparent, real-time, and with an unalterable ledger of records and events. This results in increasing trust amongst remote participants, accelerating information exchange, which helps to reduce risks and delays in our increasingly interconnected world.’’
Let’s take a look at some of the most interesting blockchain solutions offered by startups in the Oracle startup program.
Galvanizing 3D printing
The 3D printing industry – also known as additive manufacturing – is booming. The ability to print a part on-site or closer to operations can shorten long, complex supply chains. That saves time and money, reduces transportation costs, lowers carbon footprints, reduces labor costs, and injects agility into the supply chain. The digital nature of the additive manufacturing process, however, prompts significant industrial property protection concerns.
French startup Vistory believes they have the solution with MainChain, a seamless third-party platform for distributed additive manufacturing. “It’s all about creating trust – digital trust,” says Vistory CEO Alexandre Pédemonte. “But trust between these partners and IP and data security risks was a problem. There was no secure, transparent supply chain for additive manufacturing—so we built it.”
Running on Oracle Cloud, MainChain provides industrial customers with risk control and trust across the entire digital supply chain. It enables new business opportunities such as monetizing intellectual property and manufacturing spare parts on-site. With a secure digital supply chain, companies can avoid having a large warehouse of spare parts.
Vistory’s platform is plug-and-play and interoperable across ERP and CRM systems via API. Partners and customers include Aeris, Marklix, Health Service Department, Ruag Defense, Arquus, Egidium Technologies, Naval Group, and the French Ministry of Defense.
Vistory joined Oracle for Startups in September of 2020. “We are getting better performance on Oracle Cloud, at 70% less, which allows us to reinvest the cost savings into other areas of the business,” Pédemonte says. The startup is also leveraging the Oracle relationship to meet customers in new industries, which, Pédemonte says “helps fast-track future opportunities and revenue growth.”
Creating a digital supply chain
Like Vistory, KoineArth uses blockchain to support supply chains. The startup’s [markets]N solution is an AI-based SaaS platform that is an end-to-end digital supply chain, compatible with existing ERP systems.
Running on Oracle Blockchain Platform enables the creation of identities representing multiple organizations in a group – providing real-time visibility and coordination in a secure, immutable manner.
With introductions from Oracle, KoineArth is meeting enterprise customers, including one of the world’s largest metal manufacturers that needed undisputed traceability across their supply chain. The startup’s solution helped the company reduce inventory loss and save hundreds of hours in manual effort. The technology also helps resolve disputes with suppliers.
“Enterprises have come to expect the same speed of execution and reliability as what they experience as individual consumers,’’ says founder Praphul Chandra. “So the appetite for projects which require large capital expenditure and months to deploy is low. Enterprises want ready-to-use solutions. We integrated [markets]N with Oracle’s managed Blockchain Platform to reduce time to deployment and ease integration with ERPs. And enterprise customers see the value quickly.”
Building a bridge to help blockchain take off
Security. Traceability. Transparency. That’s what blockchain brings enterprises. But broader adoption has been hamstrung by the lack of interoperability – different blockchains can’t talk to each other. Quant Network solves that with Overledger. The blockchain orchestration middleware gets those blockchains talking.
The system is designed to provide any network in the world with a gateway to all other blockchains, allowing companies to develop new solutions by incorporating features from multiple blockchain applications.
The solution is used by major European firms like SIA and KPMG to bring the security and flexibility of blockchain to the financial sector. For SIA, the financial services company can bridge permissioned blockchains to allow cross-platform applications and services like notarization, payments, and “Know Your Customers” requirements. KPMG reported that the services worked more smoothly when built on Oracle Cloud than anywhere else.
CEO Gilbert Verdian says Oracle is a great partner because it is agile, quick, and open. “It’s refreshing. AWS is a bit more proprietary. You have to use a lot of AWS versions of features and products. If you have a client that doesn’t use AWS, there are a lot of custom integrations. Oracle’s approach is a data center in a cloud with standard services. You’re just spinning up instances, nodes, and VMs, and they all natively operate the same way. It’s more compatible and backwards compatible with enterprise environments in our experience.’’
Quant’s solution can be found in the Oracle Cloud Marketplace.
Bringing blockchain to the enterprise
Snapper Future Tech ran into an issue as it began providing enterprise blockchain solutions based on Hyperledger Fabric – it was hard to find experienced users in the nascent industry. So, the founders launched an e-learning program to find and develop talent, and it became a full-blown business called the Indian Blockchain Institute.
“Our entire lives are moving online—and that requires trust. Blockchain is that technology that enables trust through a single source of truth. We’ve seen early adoption and success in supply chain projects—and momentum is gaining across the enterprise,” said CEO Darshana Jain.
“For a startup, technology costs can impact your ability to scale. With Oracle, we’re seeing better performance with up to 70% in cost savings,” she said. “Oracle’s cloud infrastructure and blockchain technologies provide easy deployments that offer openness and interoperability, which gives us flexibility and agility to innovate without heavy engineering resources or being locked-in.”
Running in Oracle Cloud using Blockchain Platform, Snapper Future Tech is gaining customers, like e-governance client Kushal, who adopted the startup’s “SnapCert” verification platform to scale India’s verified skilled construction workforce. A one-stop-shop for blockchain solutions and services, the startup is gaining interest across industries like healthcare, insurance, and energy.
Already scaling across India, Snapper is now expanding to Europe and soon the US. “The partnership with Oracle is helping position us to meet the global demand we see from our blockchain development, educational services, and credentialing platform,” Jain says.
Watch our conversation with Darshana Jain.
Securing legacies in the blockchain
As we secure more assets like money, Bitcoin, photos, and e-diaries with digital passwords, a new estate planning requirement is emerging. Beneficiaries need a plan to unlock money and memories after we’re gone.
One startup uses blockchain to manage that need, with impenetrable encryption. Stornest’s 3,000+ customers can place data including bank accounts, Bitcoin keys, photos, and even farewell messages in a digital vault that can only be opened by the owner and a beneficiary.
To keep data secure, Stornest uses its own blockchain-based technology and Oracle Blockchain Platform. When a customer fills a vault, a master key is generated and split into three parts. The customer keeps one part, Stornest holds the second part to send to a beneficiary, and the third is distributed to an Oracle Blockchain Platform node. The key from the OBP node is also sent to the beneficiary, who needs two key parts to open the vault. The system means that no one, including Stornest, the authorities, or potential hackers intent on inheritance theft can see inside vaults.
Founder Mane Andreevski says he believes the idea is likely to catch on with high-net-worth individuals and anyone with digital heirlooms. Stornest is currently negotiating deals with three companies in the United Arab Emirates and some of the world’s largest life insurance companies.
“We use Oracle Blockchain Platform to instill trust in our customers. As a startup, we have yet to build a strong reputation, but by partnering with a big brand like Oracle, we can show we use reliable, trusted technology and keep great company. That’s helpful when we’re introducing ourselves to new customers,’’ Andreevski says.
Making it easier to manage digital documents
Polish startup DoxyChain came up with the idea for blockchain-based digital document management and storing service before a global pandemic made digital security more important than ever. The pandemic accelerated digitization and increased the need for its product, founder Gabriel Dymowski says.
Its clients, including information services company Wolters Kluwer, can create, upload, send, sign, and track documents within a secured space. Tracking document metadata on-chain alerts participants of any unauthorized changes, allowing for increased control over each document’s life cycle, and tracking how and by whom it has been modified. Documents are stored in a secure cloud, which makes them virtually unalterable and digitally ageless. But they can be managed simultaneously by multiple users and via mobile devices, which is helpful in our remote working era.
“Partnering with Oracle gives you credibility, which is important for us as a young startup. Oracle has contacts including enterprise customers, so it was of huge interest to us to choose a cloud provider that inspires trust and also offers access to enterprises.’’
Within a month of joining, after qualifying for Market Connect, DoxyChain was invited to showcase in front of executives from major automotive customers.
“We’ve just scratched the surface of what blockchain can do for the enterprises and public sector,’’ says Oracle’s Rakhmilevich. “Along with many of our partners providing industry solutions on Oracle Blockchain Platform, these startups highlight the innovative use cases for enterprise blockchain.’’
These six startups are paving their path to success with blockchain-based solutions and powerful connections through Oracle for Startups. We expect to see many more exciting use cases for blockchain emerge from the startup program.